Thursday, 8 April 2010


One of my aunt's suggested I share with you my Mom's eulogy. It is written by her dear friend Heidi, who has written so eloquently about her.

I stand before you today, heartbroken. I am humbled by the great honor bestowed on me by Renee to stand here and talk about the life of my amazing friend, your wife, your mother, your sister, your aunt and your friend.

Renee grew up in a loving home where she was taught how to love unconditionally, and this was how she lived her life.

When Renee was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, over four years ago, her doctors told her that her life expectancy was not long. Her battle began. And she fought, with courage, with dignity, with strength beyond comprehension. Her battle became our battle. Those first couple of years were devastating, as would be expected. And then in February of 2008, Renee’s blog “Circling My Head” was born. In her first entry, she said, “I have grieved for the life I thought I would have and I have lived in the shadow land. BUT NOW! I have returned and have chosen to be happy, to care and to love. My reasons:
· I have a brilliant husband whom I respect;
· I have two beautiful and amazingly supportive daughters who have become exactly what I wished for;
· I have a wonderful son whose compassion and joyful spirit brings such everyday pleasure into my daily life; and I am so proud of him.
· And then as time passed, she was blessed with two beautiful grandchildren.

“Circling my Head” became a place for Renee to express her thoughts, fears, hopes and feelings, meant to be a legacy for her family. But it flourished and became so much more. Her beautiful writings became a masterpiece - She was an amazing artist.

I will quote Renee many times, because I could never find the words to say things in such an eloquent and profound way.

You and Renee shared a love story that spanned over 35 years. Renee loved and admired you and said you were better than anyone she could have ever hoped for in her dreams. She believed that your kindness, patience, and genuine understanding made her kinder, more patient, and more understanding.
Renee’s love for you grew with each year that passed. Many people go through life and never find that kind of love. You and Renee had it for over 35 years, and although it wasn’t long enough, you were blessed to have had her as your partner. It wasn’t long enough for her either.
Nothing in the world would ever match the love Renee had for her children.

Of Angelique, Renee said
· You are my heart walking outside of my body.
· You are my first experience of endless love
· You taught me more than I could ever have taught you.
· You and Don gave me two of the most incredible human beings ever, sweet Josephine and darling Domenic.

Angelique thank you for the privilege.

Of Nadalene, Renee said:
· Nadelene, you are my awakening.
· I am so proud of your accomplishments and of the woman you have become.
· You are an incredible individual.
· You are married to a wonderful man, Charlton, and I love him so much.

Nadalene, thank you for the privilege.

Of Nathan, she said:
· Nathan, you are my closing act on motherhood.
· I am so proud of you. I love the sound of you being referred to as “Mr. Khan”.
· In her words: “As sure as sunbeams dance in dust filled corners, I know that any child Nathan teaches will be a very lucky child indeed”
· As a man, you are an amazing individual.

Nathan, thank you for the privilege.

Renee was overjoyed with her two grandchildren. She took nothing for granted; she knew how lucky she was to have Josephine and Domenic in her life.

When Josephine, was born, she became Renee’s new lease on life. She was the best medicine. Although she didn’t take the cancer away, she reminded Renee that she was still alive. Renee adored that sweet child and cherished every moment she got to spend with her.

When Domenic was born, Renee said that he was a “gift” to her and she said that she loved him unconditionally and beyond eternity. She said that he gave her more pleasure in one day than she had in years of living.

What a privilege for Renee to have had Josephine and Domenic in her life.
And if Renee didn’t already have so much love in her life, there were all of you, her family.

Renee was the 8th child born on March 28th, 1956 in The Pas, Manitoba to a family which would eventually become 13.
Adorable, with enormous blue eyes, she was nicknamed “Lover” by her dad at a very young age, because he thought her to be a peace maker.

If you asked Renee she would tell you that she was her dad’s favorite, her mom’s favorite and of course she was the favorite of all of her siblings. She often ended that statement by saying “Well, really, who else is there”

The last words Renee’s Dad spoke to her before he passed away: “Lover, I’m glad that I’m dying before you. I will make a place for you and your Mom in Heaven.” And indeed that is exactly what he did. We all know that he had prepared a place for Sheldon when he arrived and so he, along with Sheldon and then Daisy, were there with open arms to welcome Renee into eternal life. We can find some comfort in that.

Renee had an unbelievable relationship with her siblings. And each of you know how much she loved you and how important you were in her life; each in your own unique way.

As I began to write this eulogy, I asked each of Renee’s siblings to provide me with one word that they felt best described Renee. This turned out to be an almost impossible task, because how do you pick one word to describe someone so real, wise, devoted, intellectual, assured, kind hearted, charismatic, passionate, spiritual, determined, unforgettable, magical, hilariously funny, an all around beautiful person.

Renee shared a particularly strong bond with her sister Jacquie. Of Jacquie, she said “we have lived and loved and grown attached to each other for over 53 years. We are such an intimate part of each other. Sheldon will be very pleased to have his Auntie Renee parked on that bench beside him and his grandparents in heaven. Jacquie, you and Renee are still and will be forever “Together Strong”.

And then there were her friendships. Renee was one of the most loyal people I have ever met. Since we became friends in elementary school, our friendship has been unwavering. Renee always made me feel like I was part of her family as did the entire Ste. Marie clan. She was a wonderful listener and was always so interested in what was going on in my life. She was my biggest cheerleader. We shared so many experiences together throughout our childhood, adolescence, and adult life. We survived those wild and crazy teen years, were young mothers at the same time, we became neighbors, our kids played together. And here it is, 43 years later.

One of the things I enjoyed most about Renee was her sense of humor. When Nadalene was getting married, Renee planned to wear a wig for the occasion. I believe it was the first time she ever wore a wig since losing her hair. As part of the wedding ceremony, Renee and Charlton’s mom were to light candles at the alter. Renee and I had many discussions about this. She confided in me that she was terrified her head would catch on fire when lighting her candle. So she assigned me a very import role in the ceremony. When her head caught on fire, it was my job to run up to the alter, rip the wig of her head and extinguish the fire. We had many good laughs while we plotted our strategy. Thankfully, my services weren’t required.

Renee, thank you for the privilege.

One of Renee’s favorite pastimes was reading, of course always accompanied by a good cup of tea. Over the years, she read thousands of books. And through that, her wisdom grew to amazing heights.
Her blog became a passion for her and her world grew enormously. Renee created a beautiful piece of art, having found the perfect venue to share her innermost self. One comment that I found to be such a beautiful description of Renee’s writing abilities came from someone who said, “Sweet Renee - how you takes pieces of your soul and arrange them all together to pierce through directly to our hearts, is beyond me.”
During the two year span that Renee blogged, she posted over 600 times. And she had followers. And the followers. Grew and grew. Her site was viewed over 21,000 times and the feedback she received grew, initially a few a day to the entry on March 9th, when Angelique wrote about her Mom’s passing. More than 200 replies were received. Replies from around the world, from people who had never met her, yet knew her intimately and loved her.

Renee helped many other cancer patients to understand the disease. She made it real while at the same time making it more bearable. for them. She lost many “new friends” over the last four years to cancer, and each one devastated her.
Isn’t it amazing how that little blue eyed girl born in The Pas, changed this world in such a remarkable way. The beauty that was Renee will transcend forever.

The birds have stopped circling renee’s head
They have been replaced by white doves of peace
Blue skies ahead
And not a bat in sight

Renee believed in life everafter
World without end

Rest in Peace Renee

It has truly been our privilege.


mxtodis123 said...

Gosh, that is so beautiful. I thank you for sharing it. She was a special person. May she be in peace now.

Kelly Lish said...

That was truely beautiful! I'm sure Renee would, and does love it too. All I can say is Renee, Thank you so much for the privilage of knowing you, dear angel.

Art by Sascalia said...

Rest in Peace Renee. Love Sascalia

Sarah said...

This is a beautiful eulogy for a beautiful person. xx

Marion said...

What a beautiful, perfect eulogy for such an amazing woman. Thank you for sharing this! I only knew her for one short year, but there's a hole in my heart since she 'went home', as she put it. I loved her like a sister and she changed my outlook on life profoundly with her words and her loving spirit. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings!

clairedulalune said...

I loved this. Truly beautiful and wonderfully written. I was right there. Thank you and the very best to you.

Yoli said...

Thank you for honor of sharing her Eulogy. There is such a void for many of us her cyber friends. I will say it again, I do hope this blog never closes, that someone takes up the baton. It would be a great service to those living with the desease and for those of us who have treasured this space she has made.

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing all these thoughts with us

never ever forget you Renee

love, kristina

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Such a beautiful eulogy that so well describes the Renee I came to know & love through her blog. Reading Heidi's words is like once again having Renee at her post beside the computer. Thank you for posting this. Indeed it was a privilege.

karen gerstenberger said...

Thank you for posting this. I have enjoyed every word, just as I did when Renee was writing and loving and spreading her own unique light here. I miss her with you. Thank you, Renee, for the privilege. God bless you and your family.

Linda Sue said...

Yes! Certainly has been- so very lucky to have found her, I miss her terribly as everyone does, I am greedy and want more of her so i go back to her posts, re-read and just sit with her...My thoughts are of her incredible family , best wishes.wondering if Renee has made contact or if she is still in a healing time over yonder...

Karin Bartimole said...

Thank you for sharing this truly beautiful eulogy. Heidi's words bring tears to my eyes, but love and warmth to my heart. She brought Renee back to me in a fullness I've missed, with the weaving of her own words with Renee's. Knowing Renee certainly has been a great privilege that I will never forget, having left a permanent stretch mark on my heart...

Silke said...

Such an amazing eulogy - the love pours through it and sends out it's feelers to touch each of our hearts. I still miss her so acutely, her sense of humor, her heartfelt comments, the love she shared so freely, the truth she spoke so eloquently and the amazing person she allowed all of us to see. She is my inspiration! And you are all in my heart forever! Love, Silke

Sarah said...

Oh thank you so very much for sharing Renee!! What a wonderful job Heidi did offering up a picture of the woman we all have come to know and love! She is missed and will continue to effect and remain in my heart all my days!
Love you all and know my heart is with you, Sarah

Gloria said...

Beautifuly eulogy. How heartwarming these words have been. Renee is missed so very much and always will be. I will continue to speak with her in my own way and that is by coming to her blog to let her know what is going on in my life. Right now is a hard time in my life and her comfort is needed. I miss her. Thank you for sharing these words that will always stay with me.::hugs::

Diva Kreszl said...

I cannot thank you enough for sharing this beautiful eulogy, Renee chose quite well when she chose the author, it's perfect! I miss reading her posts and always her warm and heartfelt comments to my own posts...she has changed me forever and so much for the better. While I did not have the privilege of meeting Renee face to face I look forward to the day we will meet and hug and remember in our heavenly Father's home.

Baino said...

Thanks Angelique, a beautiful eulogy for a lovely woman. We do indeed miss her very much.

yoborobo said...

Thank you so much for posting this. It has indeed been an incredible privilege. Please tell Heidi it was a beautiful, love-filled eulogy that made me smile and cry. My love to you all. Renee, you did good, my friend. :) xoxoxoxo Pam

PurestGreen said...

Thank you so much for this.

Becky said...

this is beautiful. nuff said.

Lori ann said...

i have no words. this was exquisitly beautiful.
renee will always be missed and thought of with a smile. and much love.
♥ lori

Manon Doyle said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Renee is dearly missed. I know that all of us in Blogland think of her on a daily basis.
I send my love to your family.

DK Leather said...

beautiful memories shared, thank you xx

one little acorn said...

What a beautiful tribute. So eloquent and knowing. Renee would have loved it. They bought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes.
Thank you for sharing these precious words and bringing a breath of her to us.
Missing Renee,

Amalia K said...

Such a beautiful, beautiful eulogy of Renee. Someone so loved as her will stay in our hearts and memories forever. God bless her passionate soul.

Robyn said...

So very beautiful... just like Renee.

She is missed and forever will be loved.

One of the many things Renee has taught me is to give generously and to keep on giving.

Thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful words about Renee.

Love Robyn xoxox

pinkglitterfae said...

What a lovely eulogy, Renee would have been proud. She was and still is one in a million, a remarkable woman. I have never come across such honesty in a blog, and what an amazing, poetic writer she was!
We still miss our beautiful Renee, but she is with others now.


Annie said...

That is the most beautiful tribute I have ever read. All of it true. A day has not passed that I don't think of Renee and talk to her, though we never met. She was and is indeed loved by all who knew her.

Rick said...


Tam Hess said...

Wonderful, beautiful! Thank you for sharing. It means so much! xoxo

Marie S said...

To Heidi thank you for this beautiful eulogy. Well said.

To all the rest of you(Renee's family and friends)know that Renee changed the world in a very short period of time. Know also that she will keep changing the world through the people she has befriended and touched on this blog.
We will never forget her and are in the process of becoming because of her. She encouraged us to be our truest selves and to go out and share it with our sisterfriends and other bloggers. She also encouraged us to be the best artists, poets, writers, photographers, creatives, and people we could be. For most of us, she changed our lives and believed in us. What we truly need. In turn we gave her all of us, all the way to the soul. I still talk to her and miss her everyday. I will never forget though and to everyone that will listen, I will tell them about my amazing friend Renee.
Love and huge hugs for all of you. If I am hurting this bad, you all must be in terrible, terrible pain and I am so so sorry.

MBNAD woman said...

Thank you so much for sharing that. What wonderful memories Renee left with everyone, even those of us who did not meet her.

Mad x

Great-Granny Grandma said...

What a beautiful tribute to an amazing woman. Thanks so much for sharing.

studio lolo said...

I'm so glad you posted this. I've often thought about Heidi after Renee 'went home.' I know what a best friend bond is like.

I still miss her and I always will. I felt as if we had met in person. Every week when I place fresh yellow flowers in my studio for her, I ask her if she likes what I have chosen. Of course she approves every time ;)

I pray the memories of her is giving you peace in your heart.
There was nobody like her. My life will be forever changed for the better.

Thank you Angelique. Please tell heidi the eulogy was wonderful and perfect.

Love and blessings to your family and Heidi.



secret agent woman said...

Thank you so much for sharing that eulogy. It is perfect, wonderful heart-felt words for a wonderful, heart-filled woman. Peace to you all.

Bella Sinclair said...

Thank you for sharing this piece of beauty with us. There are so many people who love her tremendously, and with good reason. I miss her voice. I'm thankful there is a place I can come to feel her presence when I need her.

Thinking of you and your family.


Deborah said...

Unforgetable Renee. Lovely, lovely job. **blows kisses to eternity** Deb

cinner said...

Thank you so much for sharing with us. Truly beautiful, she will always be remembered. Be well.

Patty said...

What a beautiful tribute, you and your family are in my prayers.

Robin said...

Thank you for sharing this heartfelt eulogy.....I know when I read about how much Renee helped us all - in the midst of such pain - all I could do was smile through my tears and say "Thank You, Dear Renee, for being an Angel on Earth". Now that she lives with God in Heaven, I can feel her loving gaze on us all. She has not left us.

She did love of the few people I know who did.

I miss her so and think of her every day.... she (and all her family and friends) are ever in my heart and in my prayers.

Love and Strength,

♥ Robin ♥

Angie Muresan said...

This is so beautiful. A lovely tribute to a woman that will never be replaced. It was a privilege to know Renee.

Sonia ;) said...

That was the best eulogy ever written. Full of love and devotion. Thank you for sharing it with us.


Woman in a Window said...

I have felt that every time I've come here, and every time Renee came to me, I have felt priviledged. I carry that still.


Purpur said...

You have touched my life and I love you as my sister, dear Rennee.

Mim said...

Thank you for posting this, I've read it over and over and it is wonderful. what love Renee had in her family and friends.
We all miss her very much.

Draffin Bears said...

What a very beautiful eulogy to a wonderful Woman.
Many thanks for sharing this.
I think about sweet Renee, every day and miss her, and it was such a privilege to know her, this very special Lady and all she had to share with us.
Rest in peace Renee, we will always remember you.
My thoughts are with the family.


Dede said...

Beautiful....thank you so much for sharing. I miss her so much....


@eloh said...

Rest in peace dear friend.

B.J. von Schneyder Art said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Jos said...

Renee loved and loved and loved ... understanding that life is for living, right up to the last breath. And then she took flight into an altogther different dimension. There to stroll on the beach with her Dad, with Daisy, Sheldon and so many others.

Heidi it is so clear that Renee and you were as close as sisters. Some friends just are. You've written so beautifully and from your heart. Perfect.

xx Jos

Barbara said...

Perfect. It would have made Renee so happy to hear it. I'm sure she was listening, and smiling up there on that bench. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Rest in peace, Renee. Love Barbara

Anonymous said...

so sorry to see another angel of light go the way of all angels of light. renee was my biggest fan, and always had a good word to say for my struggle, without dwelling on her own. she was an inspiration to me, and we shared a lot of laughs. love, jeanne

Unseen Rajasthan said...

This is so beautiful !! Simply lovely and fantastic !!

Ces said...

There has not been a day I do not think of Renee. I wish you all the best. Thank you.

LaWatha said...

I find my self hanging on every word... thank you for sharing, for continuing Renee's blog in a way that would make her beam with pride. I'm sure she's up there, smiling, nodding... "good job"...

Renee touched so many lives- she makes me want to be a better person. If I could just touch one person's life the way she touched me, my life will be better for it.

Thank you for sharing...

Laura Hegfield said...

Oh such a beautiful tribute to a remarkable human being...I only met Renee through her blog a few months ago when I was quite ill and recently diagnosed with MS...Renee wrote thoughtful and compassionate words to me...I feel blessed to have witnessed her grace from afar.

gentle steps to all of her dear ones, family and friends...
to Renee:
May you feel safe.
May you feel happy.
May you feel strong.
May you rest with ease.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Thank you for sharing.

As another chronic cancer survivor, it is especially hard to deal with the death of a friend who shared this terrible disease.

Renee and I connected because we both shared that strong will to live. I feel as if a part of my soul has been torn out with her death.

I will continue to live, with spirit, but I will miss my friend.

Lisa said...


~Babs said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderfully perfect tribute.
And thank you to whomever selected this beautiful piece of artwork to go with it. It too, is perfect.
I remember Renee now with great joy,as I know that she is joyful,and at perfect peace.
Thank you, God,,,,for the loan of Renee.

Noreen said...

Thank you for such an wonderful tribute to an amazing woman.

I miss her dearly.

Anonymous said...

Renee, was an amazing lady, I wished so much I had known her for longer.
I think of her with Sheldon and her mom and dad together watching over you with so much love.
Blog life is'nt the same without her, then blog life here wouldn't be this way becuase she changed it, into a family.
Renee, you're very much adored my dearest friend!
I am glad they're is a Renee family of equal beauty!

Love and hugs to you all!


Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

I just keep thinking about how fortunate we are to have all been touched by Renee, and while how great your grief must be as her family, that her light shines on in so many heartfelt ways.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

Diana Evans said...

Renee was so loved and that makes her truly special..the way she could make people feel....and the special way she touched our souls....she will never be forgotten...this was beautiful and I will pop back in to read it all over...and enjoy the fact that I knew her and she inspired me so....


Angela Recada said...

Absolutely beautiful. You have made us feel like part of Renee's family, too, by posting this. Thank you.

Rest in peace, darling Renee. I will hold you in my heart forever.

~* Peach Street Folk Art *~ said...

Missing you now...

Just came across, by accident, a comment you'd left me and the loss of you is strong.

I adore you too.


Chrisy said...

Thank you darling girl for putting Heidi's eulogy up for all of us to read. One particular word that resonated with me was 'cheerleader' matter what, Renee would always make you feel like she was there with you cheering you on and believing with her whole heart that you were wonderful and were doing wonderful things. For me this was such a gift and a gift that just keeps on giving. Her voice is always there cheering me on. I've just finished an embroidery dedicated to's on my blogsite. My love to you all. Sometime, can you let us know how you're doin...and how Jacqui is...know that you are loved.

Gloria said...

Hi Renee. I just finished listening to Sam Cooke's, A Change is Going To Come and I listened to all the words and I now know why you love it so much. I always play it when I go on my blog. Just stopped by to say I miss you Renee and am thinking of you all the time. Love you. Gloria

kj said...


i have taken time before coming here to comment. renee told me about you, her best friend. she spoke of you as if you were next door, which of course you were in her heart.

i love reading about renee from her friends and family. she is never far from us her blogging family either. in fact i think the fucking bats (sorry) may have taught her how to flutter overhead, because it seems like she is so near. i have gained two special friends through renee's passing: i think she planned that.

angeligue, our collective love follows you, the kids, your Dad, your siblings. your Mother's spirit is so wide and deep: she has planned that part too. many of us will not fade away, angelique. we will love her and you all into the days beyond the days.

thank you thank you for allowing us to share in this eulogy. it comforts.


The Strawberry Mallard said...

Thank meant more than you will ever know to read that!

BT said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I have waited a while to read it as I was too 'raw' before. It is just beautiful and must have been a great help to the family and friends.

rochambeau said...

Beautiful! In every way! Thank you Heidi!!!

Dawn said...

This post just illustrates beautifully what sort of a person Renee was. A eulogy like that could never be written unless it was from the heart. Renee was clearly loved by all those who knew her and I am blessed that I was able to connect with her and become a wiser person because of it.
God Bless you Renee, I see you sitting on that bench xxxx
I wish you were still here, and I come back to read this blog so that I can stay connected xxx